How to become a Food Inspector in India

Do you aspire to become a food inspector? Are you searching for career opportunities in the food industry? Check this article and get the complete details about the eligibility criteria and procedures to become a food inspector in India. Also, learn more about the All India Food Inspector Exam conducted by the Government of India.

The food industry is one of the wide sectors filled with a lot of career opportunities. The career scope is considerably high in the field of food and civil supplies and it is one of the demanding fields which will never face a decline in the present as well as the future. Some of the notable career options in the food industry are food safety officer/food inspector, food scientist, food technologist, food analyst, etc. The aspirants who wish to start their career in the food industry can preferably join the post of food inspector as it is one of the interesting job positions which require a lot of skills and also have good career prospects in the food industry. Follow this article to know about the job description, eligibility criteria and procedures to apply for the post of food inspector in India.

Food Inspector-Job Profile

A food inspector is an official who is in-charge to analyze the quality of food products. The primary duty of a food inspector is to certify health codes in all the food-related areas starting from food processing plants to restaurants. They monitor and inspect the food manufacturers, processors and distributors for food safety and sanitary violations that lead to contamination of food with bacteria, pollutants or any other food adulterants. Also, at these places, they ensure whether the protocols of storage, handling, processing, and sanitation are followed as per the license norms. It is the responsibility of a food inspector to inspect the quality of food grain before they are moved to the market for sale or procured by any agencies owned by the state or central government.

The task of the food inspector also includes the inspection of incoming shipments of food and food ingredients as per the food safety requirements along with all the necessary standards and food laws followed by a country. They examine the food products that are imported at the port and checks for the labelling, food quality and food safety. The food inspector generally visits the food centres, storage areas at the food industries, poultry farms and slaughterhouses to inspect the hygienic conditions. If any kind of violations is detected, then the food inspectors will have to report it immediately to the appropriate regulatory agency because it is their responsibility to ensure whether the food products are suitable for human consumption or not.

Who can become a food inspector?

Education: All aspirants who have a bachelor's degree in any stream of education are eligible to become a food inspector. However, additional advantage is there for the candidates who possess a bachelor degree in science subjects and other related streams such as agriculture, pharmacy, veterinary science, food technology, dairy technology, biotechnology, life science, fisheries and public health. Those who hold a master degree and a doctorate degree in any of the food, science and health-related streams can also apply for the post of food inspector.

Age: Candidates between 18 and 35 years of age are preferred. But the age criteria vary depending upon the various exams and the selection norms for the post of food inspector.

How to become a food inspector?

Both the central and state government agencies in India employ the food inspectors. So, to become a food inspector in India, the aspiring candidates must attend the national or state level food inspector exam conducted by the central or state government (.i.e. Union Public Service Commission All India Food Inspector Exam or any State Public Service Commission Exam for Food Inspector). To apply for the food inspector exam, the candidates must satisfy the above mentioned eligible age and educational qualifications. As said earlier, the age limit varies depending upon the exam the candidates are attending. Only Indian citizens can apply for the food inspector exam in India.

The candidates have to attend the food inspector examination in their allocated examination centre on the announced date. The competitive exam will contain questions from English, Numerical ability, Technical subjects and General Knowledge. Those who have shortlisted in the competitive exam will be called to attend the personal interview. The performance of the candidates in the interview is very important to get selected for the post. In the interview, the panel will test whether the candidates possess the necessary knowledge and skills to take up the responsibility of a food inspector. The attitude of the candidates and their technical knowledge related to the areas of food products and technology will be tested. Only candidates those who clear both the entrance examination and the personal interview will be selected for the post of Job inspector in the Government.

Note: The eligibility conditions and the selection process vary from state to state. Both the central government and state government follow a different examination pattern and procedures for recruitment to the post of Food inspector. Candidates must follow the guidelines of the specific food inspector examination they attend.

Those who are not interested to join Government service can also apply for the post of Food inspector in various food processing units or granary if there are any vacancies. Candidates who have GATE / CSIR NET / ICAR NET qualifications can get into the job of a food inspector through direct recruitment by any of the government organizations or agencies.

What are the skills required for a food inspector?

The job of a food inspector requires both technical skills and soft skills. Additionally, the food inspectors must have knowledge about the legal proceedings to handle all the problems that arise in the field. Also, they must be physically fit to perform the role of a food inspector. It is necessary for a food inspector to have a good vision, smell and tasting skills. The food inspector is a responsible position and the person who is appointed as a food inspector must hold a lot of accountabilities and special skills. Mentioned below are the other special skills a food inspector must possess

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Ability to write reports
  • Ability to handle a variety of instruments
  • Aware of the latest analytical methods and the ability to conduct experiment
  • Detailed knowledge of food safety and laboratory handling rules
  • Strong knowledge about the food laws and principles
  • Aware of the hygiene, sanitation and pest control practices.
  • Should be mentally prepared to work in an unhealthy environment such as meat-packing plants, poultry farms, etc. where the work environment may be unsanitary and hazardous.

Food inspector-Career Prospects and Salary

On an average, the career scope is high for the food inspectors in India because the food processing units and eating hubs are increasing in the recent times and hence the need for food inspectors is also high. Though the vacancies for the position of food inspector are available only in the government sector, it is the responsibility of the food inspectors to perform an inspection in both government sector agencies and privately owned food processing plants and restaurants. So, to monitor and check the food safety in all the companies engaged in various consumables, the food inspectors are hired by the departments of both the state and the central government. The food inspectors are also employed at privately owned food processing factories and special agencies to handle the audits and to check whether the food regulatory guidelines are followed or not at their food processing units.

The salary for the food inspector varies from state to state. In the government sector, the food inspector will get a salary range between Rs.35,000 and Rs 40,000 along with some perks. But if a person has good experience in the field for more duration, then obviously there will be a hike in the salary. Those who are at the managerial position in the government organization will get more than one lakh per month.

In the private sector, the starting salary for a food inspector is Rs.20,000/-. But after some experience in the field, the food inspectors at private food industries can expect a salary higher than the government sector.


Food inspector is truly an exciting career option involved with a lot of challenging tasks. It one of the best job posts for all those who love to inspect and identify the defects. Through the role of a food inspector, one can definitely gain a lot of field experience and knowledge about food safety standards and legal proceedings. Those who have completed their graduation in any one of the food and beverage courses can select food inspector as their career option. If you aspire to inspect the food products and food processing centres, then definitely the food inspector is a suitable post for you. Inspect, Report and Work smarter to spot the food adulteration.


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